13 scary horror legends and myths from around the world

Horror-related urban legends from Singapore to Scotland; as told by Reddit users.

  1. Singapore

A user told the story of how he couldn’t sleep because of the sounds of dropping marbles:

“I grew up in Singapore. Almost every night, if you stay awake long enough, you can hear marbles being dropped on the floor of the apartment above you. This happens to almost everyone I know; we’ve just gotten so used to it that we don’t notice it anymore. It’s still really creepy though since most of the time the apartment above us is owned by an elderly couple who don’t have children (and who obviously don’t play with marbles at 3AM) or it’s empty. It’s just something that we can’t explain and it’s something that immigrants often ask us about.”

Another user attempted to explain this by saying that these sounds probably came from the water pipes, caused by a phenomenon known as water hammer. This however, proved to be a controversial explanation.

  1. Scotland

According to a legend, after someone found an underground passage beneath Edinburgh Castle and City Council, they sent a young boy to investigate:

“In Edinburgh, a passage was supposedly found underneath Edinburgh Castle and the City Council were obviously concerned about the security risk. The opening, however, was extremely small, so they decided to send down a young boy with a drum (so he could beat it and they’d know where it led.) The elders then followed the boy’s drumming from above ground as it led them down the High Street. The drumming stopped just next to the Tron Kirk. They decided just to block up the tunnel to prevent anything coming out of it, leaving the boy to his presumed fate. Apparently, to this day, on quiet nights, a faint drumming can be heard beneath the High Street just near the Tron…”

  1. England

An English user shared a horror story regarding the underground:

“A young woman gets on the last overground train out of central London that night. Most people are sleeping, nodding off, reading. She sits down on one of the few remaining seats and pulls out her book. After a little while she realises she’s being stared at intently by the girl opposite her. Sitting between 2 men, who themselves are staring at her, this girl continues to keep intensely staring at the woman. Unnerved but determined to keep her cool she continues reading and doing her best to ignore the people opposite.

A few minutes pass and they reach the next stop. A man walks on board and sits in the only remaining place – the seat next to the woman – pulls out a newspaper and starts doing a crossword. The train starts running again and she settles back into her book, still doing her best to ignore the 3 intimidating people opposite. The man doing the crossword lets a piece of his broadsheet paper flop onto her book. Annoyed, the woman is about to brush it off her page when she sees a message scrawled in pencil and underlined in such a way as to implore urgency: “get off train next stop”.

Her heart beating hard and feeling the tight walls of the train closing in on her, she decides to take heed of the message and hastily exits the train next stop, ready to attack the man if he attacks her.

As the train pulls away, the young woman and man stand on the platform. She turns to him and asks why she had to get off the train.

“That girl opposite you, staring at you… you didn’t notice?” he asks, visibly unnerved

‘Yea, some people are just like that I guess, it’s London bu-“

“She wasn’t staring” he interrupts “she wasn’t alive”

The next day 2 men were arrested for the murder of a 16 year old girl. They were taking her body out into Epping forest to dispose of her. Unable to find a car, they took her on the train, eyes rolled open, wedged inbetween them to keep upright.”

According to a different version of this story, there were only 5 people on the train: the victim, the killers, the girl and the stranger. There are other versions of this legend out there, too, some of which can be found on Snopes.

  1. Philippines

A university-related story from Philippines:

“One is at a medical school, where a student is about to go home after studying cadavers alone at night. As she enters the elevator (a man is already inside), they both hear a woman running, asking the student to wait and not close the elevator door as she will also use the elevator. But the student quickly pushes the button to close the door, prompting the other man inside the elevator to ask the student, “Why did you close the door? You just made her wait at the dark floor!” To which the student replied, “She’s wearing a red tag on her wrist! And that red tag is only for cadavers!” The man was shocked, then said, “Ohh… so something like this?” as he raised his arm to show the red tag on his wrist.”

  1. Brazil

“In Brazil there’s an urban legend about a man who kidnap children with a bag if you are not near your parents or alone, people call him “Homem do saco”, something similar to “Bag man” in a literal translation. If he got a children, you will never see that children again, some say he ate then.”

The “Homem do saco” stories seem to originate around the 19th century, with some saying that it was born of the fear of immigrating gypsies at the time.

  1. Poland/Russia/Ukraine

A kidnapping-related horror story from Eastern Europe, found on Wikipedia:

“Black Volga refers to an urban legend widespread in Poland, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, and Mongolia, mainly in the 1960s and 1970s. It was about a black (in some versions red) Volga limousine that was allegedly used to abduct people, especially children. According to different versions, it was driven by priests, nuns, Jews, vampires, satanists or Satan himself. Children were kidnapped to use their blood as a cure for rich westerners or Arabs suffering from leukemia; other variants used organ theft as the motive, combining it with another famous legend about kidney theft by the KGB.”

7-8. Sweden

Two short stories regarding immigrants:

“- Immigrants moving in to a new apartment, breaks up floor and starts growing potatoes there. Some might say this is based on one real incident, but I haven’t found any evidence of it. What’s funny about it is that the ethnicity of the immigrants change according to the latest big wave of immigrants, so chronologically: The immigrants of the story have been Greeks, Turks, Chileans, Yugoslavs and Arabs.

– Related legend, though more obscure: Immigrants raising pigs in the bathtub for food.”

  1. France

A French Reddit user told an old story from Orleans:

“It says that in the 60’s, there was a clothes and lingerie shop in Orleans where the fitting rooms were in fact traps. Women were kidnapped and sent to some prostitution network.”

Certain versions of this legend may include Jewish shop owners, crooked cops, secret tunnel systems and submarines.

  1. India

“In India there was this urban legend in Delhi about a mad scientist creating a monkey-man. This creature escaped and haunted Delhi for a long time. People were supposedly attacked. Nobody ever found out what happened. In the end, years later, we got a bunch of good movies and a comic book series on it.”

  1. South Korea

A story about a honeymoon gone wrong:

“There is a story about this newly weds who go on their honeymoon to either China or India. During the trip, the wife disappears without a trace, and the husband is forced come home, failed to find out anything about what happened to the love of his life. Couple years later, he goes to see a circus with friends, and there, he finds his missing wife, performing as a freak. Luckily, she was perfectly alright, except she now has no legs, arms, nor ability to speak.”

12-13. China

And last, but not least, two bus-related stories from China:

“One night around midnight, some drunk gets on a bus and falls asleep on his seat. There’re about a dozen people inside the bus. Nothing out of the ordinary. Then the drunk wakes up to an old guy getting on the bus. The old guy looks around the bus, and chooses to sit next to the drunk. The drunk is a bit annoyed, but doesn’t think too much of it. He then drifts off again. Suddenly, he wakes up again to the old guy grabbing his collar and shaking him violently. The old guy yells at him, “Little fucker pretended to be asleep and tried to steal my wallet!” Of course he does no such thing. So he defends himself, “No I didn’t! I was drunk and sleeping, you crazy old man!” They causes too much of a ruckus, so in the end, the driver has to throw them both off the bus. As soon as they get off, the guy immediately lashes out. Yet the old man holds up his hand and stops him. “I just saved both of our lives, young man,” he says. “You were too drunk to notice. None of the other passengers had feet!” (Here’s the deal with “no feet.” When Chinese ghosts “walk,” their heels don’t touch the floor, or they just downright flow).”

“One night, a young female driver is driving a bus full of passengers along a dark and quiet road in between cities. All of a sudden, three guys appear by the road asking for a ride. Since they are all willing to pay the fee, the driver has no choice but to let them in. However, as soon as she gets the money and is ready to take off again, one of the guys holds a knife against her side. And the other two starts to walk down the aisle, also with their knives out. Turns out they are robbers. After taking the passengers’ valuables, the robbers notice the driver is a young and attractive woman. So they rape her, in front of everybody. There is this one guy who tries to stop the rape from happening, but eventually gets beaten by the bad guys. After the rape, the bad guys demand the driver to keep driving. But the driver looks that the good Samaritan and screams, “I want him out of my bus!” The guy is dumbfounded. “You didn’t stop them, you useless piece of shit! Get off my bus!” So the poor guy is thrown off the bus by those robbers. He has to walk all night to get to a small town for help. While in the police station, the news is on the TV, saying that a bus full of passengers goes off a cliff, and no one on the bus, including the female driver, survives the crash.”

This story inspired an award-winning short film:

Photo: pexels.com

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